SalesTechStar Interview with Ray Nolan, Founder at eDesk
Ray Nolan, Founder at eDesk talks about the benefits of WhatsApp for business and how platforms like eDesk with their new integrations enable better instant brand communication with end users:
Hi Ray, we’d love to hear more about eDesk’s latest WhatsApp integration and how this changes the game for end users? What inspired this feature/capability?
eDesk is the first ecommerce helpdesk software to integrate with Whatsapp business. The feature will enable retailers to provide customer support on the messaging platforms their customers use the most. This will enable eDesk customers to connect with their customers through the world’s most popular messaging platform and centralize all conversations within their eDesk dashboard. This is the first time an ecommerce help desk software has integrated with WhatsApp Business.
For eCommerce sellers, the integration means they can connect with their customers on the apps they use most. What this means for sellers using WhatsApp Business is that their customers can contact them in a convenient, familiar way, and agents get the ability to prioritize, assign and reply to all their WhatsApp messages from the eDesk mailbox.
Smart brands know that the best way to engage with customers is to go to them, and WhatsApp is where they are. As the world’s most popular messaging platform, used by over 2 billion people in over 180 countries, it is in retailers’ best interests to leverage WhatsApp as a customer service channel.
The partnership will allow eDesk users with WhatsApp Business accounts to easily support their customers, at no extra cost, from one inbox, and grow their business with the confidence that customer service in any language is covered everywhere they sell.
Read More: How SOC 2 Can Supersize Your Sales Funnel
The WhatsApp Business integration with eDesk enables retailers to centrally manage all their customer support, at scale, from one unified inbox, enabling agents to work remotely and seamlessly across all channels. Unlike other help desk solutions, eDesk is built specifically for eCommerce and is the only product on the market to give brands and sellers the ability to truly support their customers 1:1 across all their sales channels. eDesk’s award-winning solution enables sellers to simply and automatically consolidate, prioritize and translate customer queries from multiple channels, in just a few clicks.
Why do you feel it will become more crucial for businesses/commerce platforms to offer varied kinds of integrations such as this in the near future to meet changing market dynamics?
As consumer behaviours change, businesses need to adapt by offering integrations that can meet customer demands, or prepare to be left behind. Social media is a powerful engagement tool, a great way to communicate your brand’s personality and engage with potential customers. But now, it’s so much more than an online catalog. Social commerce is on the rise, growing faster than any other online selling channel. I think diversifying reach across sales and engagement channels is a must for any brand. That expansion complicates and fragments the customer experience, what we do, and what our customers need, is to streamline that support across all of a merchants sales channels, enabling our customers to scale their eCommerce business without sacrificing the customer experience
Despite all the innovations in customer support, there are still several areas that seem to lag across industries: what do you feel brands can do better to shorten this gap?
There are currently several issues facing brands and organizations in the customer support space, slow response times and chaotic ticket management as they take on new channels still hamper many companies. Brands need to simplify their customer support processes and unify all their channel tickets into one place, where they can automate their processes, prioritize and respond faster with more efficiency and accuracy
A few thoughts on the future of eCommerce and what key trends will drive this sector?
There are several key trends I think will drive the future of eCommerce such as;
- Firstly Customer Experience is king; Expectations of a good customer experience will continue to increase over time – and this will continue to be a key battleground for customer loyalty.
- Secondly, eCommerce will continue to grow ( albeit at a slower pace than during pandemic times ); More and more of the growth will be across multiple new digital channels rather than all via brand owned / D2C or marketplaces. The prominent channels over the next 2-3 years in order of growth:
- Social Commerce; TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Pinterest, … ● MetaVerse
- Thirdly omnichannel support gathers pace; Customers will want to interact via the channels they are most comfortable with, meaning retailers will need to get comfortable with supporting customers via; Voice, SMS, Social (WhatsApp, Twitter, FB, etc…), Email, Marketplaces, etc… regardless of where they bought the product.
- AI & automation finds their place in eCommerce; with the likes of ChatBots nowhere close to the expectations created by the 21st-century hype, it’s clear that AIs’ role to play in eCommerce customer support is now not to replace the agent, but to help improve the end customer experience through improved automation and operational efficiencies.
And finally, a few views on salestech as a segment and how you feel this space will shape up over the next few years?
With increased digitisation comes rapidly rising customer expectations. In the coming years having exceptional customer service will be a non-negotiable in order to win customers and increase sales. A satisfying, seamless experience is key towards engaging potential customers in the pre-sale stage. Increasing touch-points with customers, and providing omni-channel support will not only help you to convert new leads into sales, but hopefully win repeat customers.
eDesk helps online brands deliver extraordinary customer service, with their All-In-One Helpdesk, built for eCommerce growth.
At 22, Ray founded his first company Raven Computing, the incubation engine for many businesses that followed. In 1999, he identified an opportunity to introduce online bookings to youth and tourist hostels. As the CEO he grew the company to become a leading worldwide brand with distribution contracts in 170 countries and more than 12MM visitors a month. Ray sold it in November 2009, returning more than $500MM on just $150K total investment on just $150K total investment.
Ray continued to build web-based brands launching Xsellco, Intalex and Ultimate Rugby. XSellCo, which was rebranded to eDesk in 2021, provides enterprise-class etail solutions. Designed for those already selling products online, through their own sites, or through channels like Amazon or eBay, it handles inventory, orders, reputation and sales reporting through a single platform.
Episode 136: Driving Sales Revenue Despite Recessionary Times with AJ Bruno, Founder and CEO at QuotaPath
Episode 135: B2B Growth Hacks and Best Practices with Andy Champion, VP and General Manager of EMEA at Highspot
Episode 134: Driving Marketing ROI- Tips and Best Practices with Mariana Cogan, CMO at People.ai